This July sees the return of the West End Beer Festival, so we asked organiser Conor McGeady to give us an idea of what to expect and more importantly what to look out for.

What is the West End Beer Festival?

Running now for its second year, the West End Beer Festival is the west of Glasgow’s first and only craft beer and real ale festival.

The event is hosted in 3 sessions over two days and showcases some of Scotland’s best breweries, from big name favourites like Fyne Ales, Alechemy, Ayr and Fallen to smaller, up-and-coming, so called “gypsy brewer” operations, such as Dead End Brew Machine and Jake Griffin’s Up Front Brewing.

The format of the festival is such that every brewery runs their own unique bar, giving the customer the opportunity to buy their beers directly from them.

If you are passionate about good beer in all of its wonderful forms then The West End Beer Festival is not to be missed.

Where will it be held?

Once again the event will be held within Café Source Too at Hillhead Sports Club. A lot of people will know this as the old Hughenden Rugby Club (previously home to The Glasgow Warriors Rugby team) found on Hughenden Road just off Hyndland Road by Gartnavel Hospital and Devonshire Gardens.

Map
Sessions run as follows:

Friday 1st July:  6pm till Midnight.
Saturday 2nd July: 12 till 4:30pm (Children welcome and enter free).
Saturday 2nd July: 6pm till Midnight.

How Much?

Tickets cost £6 – we recommend that you purchase your ticket in advance as the event is likely to sell out fast!

£4 for members of CAMRA, Hillhead Sports Club and The Arlington Baths.

Ticket price includes your very own festival glass too.

Where can I purchase my ticket?

Tickets can be purchased from Café Source Too, Grunting Growler and The Good Spirits Co. and as of this week tickets will also be on sale at Valhalla’s Goat, Kelvinbridge.

Will there be food?

There was lots of great food provided by Café Source last year. From BBQ to beery mac & cheese, there promises to be even more this year.

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Will there be entertainment?

Yes of course, both nights will have live acoustic and folk sessions in the bar as well as a DJ set from Halfrican’s Sancho in the main hall on the Saturday night.

Highlights/ What to look out for?

There seems to be too much to be excited about this year.

Which one of their recent collaborations will Fallen be pouring?

What will newcomers Up Front and Dead End Machine be offering?

And what will new kid on the Finnieston block Jehad of Grunting Growler have for supping?

Personally, I am looking forward to a very special product that may or may not be on sale at the Good Spirits Bar. I can’t give away more, so I guess you will just have to grab a ticket while you can and find out for yourself.

The Beers 

This year the festival is hosting 10 breweries as well as 2 shops:
Alechemy, Fyne Ales, Fallen Brewing, Jaw Brew, Up Front Brewing, Ayr Brewery, Tryst, WEST Brewery (with a possible new beer), The Good Spirits Co Wine & Beer Store  as well as newcomers Floodline and Dead End Machine and the much talked about man of the moment Jehad Hatu of Grunting Growler.

Café Source will also host their own bar packed full of guest beers on cask, keg and in the bottle.

WWD Glengoyne Calton Hill 3

Advice and a note of caution

Please drink responsibly. The beer festival is well staffed and the utmost effort will be made to take care of you while you are there but should you begin to let it all get to your head, take a break and get something to eat or drink some water.

And remember – just one last drink after you think you might have had enough, is never a great idea.

Luckily, the festival runs over three days so you will have plenty of time to enjoy it.

FAQs

Can I keep my glass? Yes, you can keep your glass, if you’re like us you’ll probably want to add it to your already extensive collection of beer festival glasses, or perhaps you’re just wanting to get your new collection started.

How do I become a CAMRA member? If you’re reading this guide then there’s already a fair to middling chance that you’re a fan of  real ales, or at least have an interest in them. Should this be the case then joining CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) can be a great way to extend your knowledge and support the industry.

Membership costs as little as £2 a month and you can find out how to join – or to buy a gift membership for someone who deserves a treat – here.

How will I know what to drink? Luckily, there will be well informed staff (including more than a few of the brewers themselves) at each of the bars to give you information on each of the beers available.

Should I drink pints?  Some of the beers (depending on strength) may be restricted to half pints and as a rule, it’s probably more enjoyable if you try each beer as half pints, as you’ll be able to sample more of the extensive collection but again it’s entirely up to you.

Is there a dress code? No, thankfully real ale and craft beer enthusiasts are a relaxed and friendly crowd and you’ll find nearly all forms of clothing are welcomed.

Keep up to date with information about the West End Beer Festival by following:

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Let us know what you think

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